Worthing's development fund delivers unprecedented support for community groups
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More than £577,000 from Worthing Borough Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Neighbourhood Fund was successfully bid for by 45 community groups and voluntary sector organisations.
"This funding will now be used to help develop projects that improve the lives of residents in the town,” a borough council spokesperson said.
“Community groups from across Worthing are set to revamp green spaces, provide vital resources for young people, help with the cost of living and launch new cultural activities, thanks to money collected from developers.”
Worthing Borough Council (WBC) said parks and green spaces are ‘set to receive a cash injection’ for improvements and redevelopment –including new multi-use games areas at both West Worthing Park and Durrington High School and enhancements at Malthouse Way playground in West Durrington.
There will also be money for an artificial cricket pitch and practice nets at Castle Northbrook Sports Club and community skateboard lessons in Durrington.
A council spokesperson added: “Art and culture in the town will also get a boost, with money for a choral society and community community gospel choir as well as the Worthing Theatre Trail and the creation of a new heritage trail in Durrington.
“Projects that open up access for more residents in the town have also been rewarded, including allotments for people with disabilities, English conversational classes for refugees, a new wellbeing centre to combat loneliness and better access to the arts for Worthing's deaf community.
“Funding will also go to food banks in Worthing to help with the increased cost of living as well as projects geared towards young people, including a young people’s hub in Tarring, a Tots and Toast club, music therapy classes and using football and outdoor learning to engage children in the conversation around climate change.”
As part of its ‘commitment to become a council for the community’, WBC began speaking to groups last year to find out how the fund can be made fairer, more transparent and easier to bid for grants from.
The successful applications were chosen by community assessment panels at venues in the four areas of Worthing that were eligible for funding. The panels were made up of council members and community representatives.
Following feedback at a series of community engagement events, the fund was also expanded to cover a wider area of Worthing and groups were offered support from Community Works – a local organisation that supports the voluntary sector.
Any groups that have not been successful in securing funding have been given feedback, invited to apply next year and referred to Community Works for help preparing future applications.
Carl Walker, council deputy leader, said: “We changed the way this fund is distributed to give community groups and residents more say over what happens in their area and to make sure that a wider range of community groups can access the fund.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see that a record number of groups applied this year and that this funding will help so many organisations continue their vital work as well as develop new projects that will help so many people and will have such a significant impact across all areas of our town. I’d like to thank all of these community groups for how much they give to Worthing.”
Jess Estcourt, relationships and development manager at Community Works said the organisation is ‘incredibly proud’ to support community action in Worthing and ‘all the local areas we work in’, adding: “Especially schemes like this, that help get valuable funding to grass roots projects.”
Click here to view the full list of projects that have received funding.